I love it! Unlike other series where the author tends to overcook their character, Fforde mentioned just enough of the casts from the first book who already had enough attention (Jack Spratt's family) and focused on other characters, letting us know more about Ashley the alien, Mary Mary, his arch-enemy Gingerbreadman and giant cucumbers. And the bears, after all it's called the Fourth Bear and the bears surely have lots of fun right now gobbling up contraband porridge and honey.. The only thing that bothers me, but comes also from the first book, is the amount of genetically changed fiend. One would thought where the Nursery Rhyme characters are alive one wouldn't need to rely heavily on genetic manipulation..